Tag Archives: Christ

Following Jesus in a Stranger Danger World


Today at church we read from Matthew 2 about Jesus calling the tax collector named Levi son of Alphaeus. I actually went to the first and second service today, so I heard this twice. On second reading, I got thinking about doing a children’s story on the reading.

First, I thought I might just go up to the kids in the pews with their parents and say, Follow me.” In my own church, this wouldn’t help to make my point about how amazing it was that he did follow Jesus because the kids all know me and likely would be quick to follow me. They might stop at the door if I tried to lead them out or off the property.

My next thought was to suggest a number of scenarios with a stranger asking them to follow. Maybe a person coming up to them at the park, or at school. I might describe them as dressed in different types of things, black masked with dark clothes, a person all dressed up, a person in jeans and at shirt. Though they may be more inclined to go with someone in a police or fire department uniform, I realized that, perhaps more than ever, the kids would likely say no to anybody new who suggested they leave what they are doing and go along with them.

But in both Mark 1 and 2 there are stories of Jesus walking past people and just calling them to follow him…and they did! Fishermen followed, leaving their nets, boats, and families with seemingly not a second thought. Perhaps this seems less likely with a busy tax collector, both because of his activity, and because he would have be considered persona-non-gratis amongst the Jews of the time. Did he not wonder, “Can he be talking to me? I am a great sinner!”?

Jesus is still out there calling us to him, children and adults alike. The question that comes to my mind is, in such a troubled world in which we see daily footage of violence, kidnappings, and accidents, is it even less likely that we would pick up and follow without question? As a Christian, I would like to think that I would hop right up, but then maybe not.

Have you followed? What made you follow? Did you keep following? Do you think people would be likely to follow you to God?

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost


 A couple of years ago I was taking a course on the Trinity.  The final assignment was to write a statement of faith or a personal creed.  The following was my response.

 

I believe in the one true God through whose imagination, creativity, and action the world and all that is in it was created.

God is so vast that He can not be expressed in just

       one human word. 

A part of God is in every person in the form of the

      Holy Spirit who inspires us and helps to open us

      to God’s divine purposes for our lives.

God’s love took the human form of

Jesus Christ who suffered and died for our sins, not his own, and was raised on the third day to return to

      heaven with the Father. 

Having accepted his Son as our saviour, we are 

      assured of forgiveness.

God’s power is infinite and expressed in love rather 

      than control.

I trust God and rely on him in my daily life through

prayer, mission, the study of his word, and participation in public worship with my church family.

God calls me to his service, to use the talents he has

      given me.

I live to serve the Lord.

 

                                                                Cathy Scott

 

The Jesus Prayer in Song


The Jesus Prayer

Words and Music by Cathy Scott

 

Chorus

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

 

1. Lord I acknowledge you as lord of my life,

I will seek your guidance, try to do as you like.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

 

2. Jesus you have known my name from the womb

and Jesus you have told me yours so I can call on you.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

 

3. Christ is a title appointed by God.

God’s annointed king, saviour of the whole world.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

 

4. Mercy that stems from your infinite grace.

Forgive all that I have done and all I’ve left undone.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

 

5. On me, the least of your followers,

Despite my straying bring me home to you.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!

 

Sound file to come

Raking in the Front Yard, Shovelling in the Back!


Raking in the front yard, shovelling in the back

Here I am! Stuck in the middle again…

It’s like summer and winter out there!  Actually, in my yard that is how spring works.  My front yard clears of snow fairly quickly while the back the yard is still covered with snow.  After church today, I raked up doggie ‘left-overs’ in the front yard and then grabbed my shovel and went to get rid of the last of the snow on the back deck.  Then, after a trudge through the snow, I dug out the door to the shed and brought up the deck chairs.  This accomplished I took a rest in the bright sunshine, overlooking our winter back yard.

 

Life is full of contrasts like this.  Today in church the minister spoke about the apostle Thomas.  You know the one, the doubter right?  Thomas is only part of a couple of stories in the New Testament and is, by far, best known for his refusal to believe in the risen Christ until seeing and touching the wounds himself.  That was not, however, the story in today’s reading. 

 

Today we read about the death of Jesus’ friend Lazarus.  Jesus was sent word about his friend’s impending death and when he decided, several days later, to go back to the home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus his disciples pointed out how dangerous this would be for him.  People in that area were just waiting for a chance to kill him.  While all the other disciples were urging caution, Thomas said they should go with him and die with him.  Thomas was so far from doubting that he was willing to die for Jesus!  That, the minister pointed out, should earn Thomas the name of Brave Thomas!

 

The chores I did today in the front and the back yards, though very different in nature, were both headed in the same direction which is getting the yard ready for summer.  Likewise there are various chores, seemingly very different, which are needed to prepare for the coming of the kingdom of God.  Thomas the Brave went on in his life to bring the Gospel to people as far from Israel as India and his life ended in martyrdom.  He did, as he had offered that day when headed out to see Lazarus, literally die for Christ.  This is one of the things that was needed for the furtherance of the Kingdom.  There need to be people who love Christ so much that they are willing to die for him!

 

I can’t know my future situations and reaction, but I think I am unlikely to truly put my life on the line in the way Thomas did.  In fact, this is not in any way likely to happen to those of us in North America, nor anywhere in the developed world.  Luckily for us, we don’t need to die for Christ, we are also called to live for him.  So get out your rakes, your shovels, and whatever other tools you are called to use and get to work preparing the yard for the kingdom.